The Conscious Gut

3000 Calorie Vegan Meal Plan: Bumping Up Your Caloric Intake The Right Way

What Is A 3000 Calorie Vegan Meal Plan?

The subject of weight is an ever-changing one. Some people are happy and would like to maintain it; others would do anything to lose it while even more out there are doing everything they can to gain it. Would a 3000 calorie vegan meal plan help you lose weight? Is a 3000 calorie high protein diet vegan diet going to improve your gains? What does a 3000 calorie meal plan look like to the average person? The 300 calorie vegan meal plan should be approached like every other diet available to others. Just because it is plant-based does not mean that it is right for you.

Who should follow a 3000 calorie vegan meal plan?

A fundamental fact to note is that not everyone is eligible to participate in a 3000 calorie vegan meal plan. There are multiple factors that affect how much energy you need in a day. They include (5):

  • Gender

 Ordinarily, men always need more calories than women do. While adult women require between 1600 to 2400 calories a day, men require 2000 to 3000 calories a day.

  • Height

 Taller people need to consume more energy than shorter people (6).

  • Age

This is concerning your basal metabolic rate (BMR) or resting metabolic rate (RMR). Younger people burn more calories at rest than older people do. Thus, older people tend to need fewer calories.

  • Weight gain or weight loss

Calories consumed must equal calories expended for a person to maintain the same body weight. When you are consuming more calories than you expend, it results in weight gain while consuming fewer calories than expended will result in weight loss over time. The amount of calories you consume in a day all depends on where you want your weight to be.

  • Amount of physical activity done in a day

 Sedentary people will consume more calories than active people since they do not use that much energy in a given day.

In light of this, people who should be eating a 3000 calorie vegan meal plan include:

  • Athletes;
  • Highly active men and women such as gym trainers and bodybuilders;
  • People looking to gain weight;
  • People looking to lose weight – But only if the persons in question had been eating more than 3500 a day. If not, then this eating plan would cause them to gain weight;
  • People who do physically demanding jobs such as farm labourers and construction workers.

How to follow a healthy 3000 calorie vegan meal plan

Foods to avoid

Being on a 3000 calorie vegan meal plan means that unlike most people, you have a set of rules to follow regarding the foods that you consume. Vegans are not allowed to eat the following foods (13):

  • Animal milk and its byproducts such as butter, cream, cheese, and ice cream;
  • Meat of any kind including poultry (chicken, duck, and turkey);
  • Fish and all other types of seafood;
  • Eggs;
  • Honey.
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Foods to eat

Despite these restrictions, vegans can easily achieve a 3000 calorie vegan meal plan. They can get all these calories from foods such as:

  • Fruits such as grapefruits, pineapples, berries, apples, bananas, mangoes and more;
  • Healthy dark leafy greens such as lettuce, bok choy, Swiss chard, spinach, and Brussels sprouts;
  • Vegetables like squash, sweet potatoes, peppers, zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, etc.;
  • Legumes and lentils;
  • Nuts and seeds – Almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, and more;
  • Grains such as oats, rice, breads, pastas, and quinoa;
  • Plant-based milk alternatives such as soymilk, almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk, and coconut milk, among others;
  • Fats and oils from almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, olive oil, and nut butters like natural peanut or almond butter.

What does a 3000 calorie vegan bodybuilding meal plan look like?

As seen above, some people who may need a 3000 calorie vegan meal plan are highly active people such as athletes, bodybuilders, anyone looking to gain weight and people working physically demanding jobs.

Here is a three-day meal plan showing what their meals could look like.

Sample 3000 calorie vegan meal plan with macros

Day One

Meal 1

Tofu Scramble With Kale and Sweet Potatoes (12)

  • 1 small cubed sweet potato, 1 tbsp canola oil, 1/2 small yellow onion, 396 g extra firm tofu, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 2 cups baby kale, and salt and pepper to taste

Calories: 264. Fats: 15.8 g, Proteins: 18.8 g, Carbs: 16.6 g

Meal 2

Stuffed pumpkin (9)

  • 1 medium-sized pumpkin, 4 tbsp olive oil, 100 g wild rice, 1 large fennel bulb, 1 apple, 1 lemon, 1 tbsp fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, 2 garlic cloves, 30 g toasted pecans, 1 large pack parsley, 3 tbsp tahini, pomegranate seeds

This recipe makes 4 servings

Calories: 693. Fats: 21 g, Proteins: 20 g, Carbs: 97 g

Meal 3

Mediterranean Edamame Quinoa Bowl (7)

  • 2 cups loosely packed, fresh greens, 1/2 cup edamame, 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 10 pitted Kalamata olives, 1 small sliced cucumber, 1/4 cup sliced red onions, 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • For the dressing – 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 and a half tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 minced clove garlic, 1/2 dried oregano, salt, black pepper and paprika to taste

Cals: 516. Fats: 34 g, Proteins: 16 g, Carbs: 44 g

Meal 4

Chocolate Protein Shake (3)

  • 1 ripe banana, 2 tbsp hemp seeds, 1/4 cup oats, 2 tbsp natural salted peanut butter, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 2 tbsp cacao powder, 2 cups unsweetened almond milk, 2 pitted dates or maple syrup

Cals: 646. Fats: 36.6 g, Proteins: 23.3 g, Carbs: 64.9 g

Meal 5

Spicy Peanut Butter Tempeh & Rice (1)

  • 643 g cubed tempeh, 184 g brown rice, Coconut oil spray
  • For the Sauce – 4 tbsp peanut butter, 4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, 4 tsp coconut sugar, 2 tbsp red chilli sauce, 2 tsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp ginger, 3 cloves of garlic, 6 tbsp water
  • For the cabbage – 142 g finely sliced purple cabbage, the juice from 1 lime, 2 tsp agave, 3 tsp sesame oil

Cals: 608. Fats: 24 g, Proteins: 43 g, Carbs: 56 g

Meal 6

Pineapple Coconut Mojito Green Smoothie

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 1/2 cup kale, 1/2 cup spinach leaves, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks, 1 lime, 1/3 cup mint leaves, 1/2 inch peeled fresh ginger, 1 tsp chia seeds, ice

Cals: 313. Fats: 9 g, Proteins: 35 g, Carbs: 30 g

Total Intake for the Day: Calories: 3040. Fats: 140.4 g, Proteins: 156.1 g, Carbs: 308.5 g

Day Two

Meal 1

Coffee

  • 1 cup of coffee with 4 tbsp of dairy-free soy creamer

Cals: 85. Fats: 4 g, Proteins: 0 g, Carbs: 12 g

Meal 2

Pre-workout protein shake

  • 2 scoops of plant-based protein powder and some water

Cals: 150. Fats: 4 g, Proteins: 21 g, Carbs: 15 g

Meal 3

Overnight oats

  • 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup blueberries, 1 tbsp agave, 1 cup flaxseed milk (with added protein)

Cals: 339. Fats: 5 g, Proteins: 11 g, Carbs: 65 g

Meal 4

Sweet potato and tofu

  • 1/2 medium-sized sweet potato, 1 medium-sized avocado, 14 oz firm tofu, 50 g baby spinach, 1 tbsp tahini

Cals: 922. Fats: 64 g, Proteins: 50 g, Carbs: 46 g

Meal 5

Dinner

  • 1 cup cooked white quinoa, 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, 1 carrot, 1 tsp liquid aminos, 1 cup kale, 113 g chickpea pasta, 255 g of a plant-based chicken substitute.

Cals: 1381. Fats: 23 g, Proteins: 114 g, Carbs: 213 g

Meal 6

Shake

  • 1 cup flaxseed milk, 2 scoops chocolate protein powder, 2 tbsp peanut butter, 1 banana

Cals: 480. Fats: 22 g, Proteins: 33 g, Carbs: 51 g

Total Intake for the Day: Calories: 3357. Fats: 122 g, Proteins: 229 g, Carbs: 403 g

Day Three

Meal 1

Coffee

  • 1 cup of coffee with 4 tbsp of dairy-free soy creamer

Cal: 85. Fats: 4 g, Proteins: 0 g, Carbs: 12 g

Meal 2

Oatmeal and tofu scramble

  • For the Oats – 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1 cup oats

Cals: 408. Fats: 10 g, Proteins: 12 g, Carbs: 70 g

  • For the tofu scramble (8) – 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 red onion, 1/2 red pepper, 2 cups kale. 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp chilli powder, Water, 1/4 tsp turmeric

This tofu recipe makes 2 servings

Cals: 212. Fats: 15.1 g, Proteins: 16.4 g, Carbs: 7.1 g

Meal 3

Protein shake

  • 124 g banana, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 30.5 g plant-based protein powder

Cals: 414. Fats: 11 g, Proteins: 26 g, Carbs: 58 g

Meal 4

Mushroom Sandwich

  • 1 tbsp barbecue sauce, 141 g oyster mushrooms, 6.2 g baby spinach, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, 2 slices protein bread, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, 28 g vegan cheese

Cals: 350. Fats: 7 g, Proteins: 22 g, Carbs: 54 g

Meal 5

Spicy Peanut Butter Tempeh & Rice (1)

  • 643 g cubed tempeh, 184 g brown rice, Coconut oil spray
  • For the Sauce – 4 tbsp peanut butter, 4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, 4 tsp coconut sugar, 2 tbsp red chilli sauce, 2 tsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp ginger, 3 cloves of garlic, 6 tbsp water
  • For the cabbage – 142 g finely sliced purple cabbage, the juice from 1 lime, 2 tsp agave, 3 tsp sesame oil

Cals: 608. Fats: 24 g, Proteins: 43 g, Carbs: 56 g

Meal 6

Berry Smoothie

  • 150 g mixed berries, 1/2 cup almond milk, 59 g oats, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 cup coconut yoghurt

Cals: 658. Fats: 22 g, Proteins: 43 g, Carbs: 62 g

Meal 7

Rice cake avocado toast

  • 2 rice cakes, 1/2 medium avocado, 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 tbsp coconut aminos

Cals: 271. Fats: 14 g, Proteins: 4 g, Carbs: 36 g

Total Intake for the day: Calories: 3006. Fats: 107.1 g, Proteins: 167.4 g, Carbs: 355.1 g

Can you achieve a 3000 calorie high protein vegan meal plan?

Yes, you can. Many people wonder where vegans get protein because this diet stands firmly against traditional protein sources, i.e. animal protein. This, however, does not mean that a person with a 3000 calorie high protein diet vegan meal plan cannot achieve it.

Here are some plant-based options that many vegans used as a source of proteins (10):

1. Seitan. It is made from wheat gluten.

2. Tofu, tempeh and edamame. They all originate from soybeans which are a fantastic source of protein for vegans and vegetarians, alike.

3. Lentils, chickpeas, and beans. These are the most known and common sources of plant-based protein.

4. Nutritional yeast. It comes in the form of a yellow powder or flakes and is produced by culturing a yeast in a nutrient medium (like glucose) for several days.

5. Hemp seeds. Just 28 g of these seeds contain 10 g of protein.

6. Spirulina. This is a blue-green algae that has 8 g of protein in just 2 tablespoons. It is sold in either powder or tablet form. The powder can be added to smoothies, salads, soups, as well as fruit or vegetable juices.

7. Soy Milk. When it comes to nutritional value, soy milk is lower in calories but has almost as much protein as cow’s milk (4).

How to do a 3000 calorie vegan bulking meal plan

Bulking is a term used in the bodybuilding community, and it refers to the process of eating more and training heavier in order to gain muscle. It is often done after a period of cutting – where bodybuilders eat less while strength training to shed body fat but still maintain lean muscle mass.

When it comes to a bulking diet, it is essential to watch your calorie intake to make sure that you are not overeating which leads to fat gain. How to make a 3000 calorie vegan bulking plan:

  • Your protein intake

During a bulking period, many bodybuilders increase their protein intake to 1.5 grams of protein per pound bodyweight. For example:

195-pound man * 1.5 g protein = 293 g of protein per day

Do not try consuming all these grams of protein in one sitting. Instead, opt to divide them between 4 or 6 meals per day.

  • Your carbohydrate intake

Carbohydrates are essential during the bulking phase as they are used to fuel your workouts which helps you gain bigger muscles. For bulking, bodybuilders increase their carbohydrate intake to between 1.5-2 grams of carbs per pound of body weight (2):

195-pound man * 2 g carbohydrates = 390 g of carbs per day

  • Training

Working out is just as important as a healthy, high-calorie diet while bulking. Making the mistake of thinking that your 3000-calorie vegan bulking meal plan is enough for you could severely cost you. Some advice for bulk training includes (11):

1. Track your progress. Are your workouts and diet giving you the results you desire?

2. Do not forget your cardio. During this period, most people disregard cardio in favour of weights. However, it is still essential to do cardio 2 to 3 times a week for about 30 minutes.

3. Sleep more. Try getting 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.

4. Take rest days. They give you body and muscles time to recover and repair themselves. This increases your muscle mass.

The Bottom Line: Is the 3000 calorie vegan meal plan suitable for everyone?

No, it is not. The 3000 calorie vegan meal plan is very high in calories, something that is not healthy for most people. Many people, in their day to day lives, do not work out enough for them to burn off these calories. This means that all the extra food consumed to reach the goal of 3000 calories would not be used as energy. It will thus, will end up stored in the body as fat, making them gain weight.

The subject matter of having 3000 calories a day is best left to professionals who know what they are doing. For anyone who wishes to gain weight on this diet, it is important to realize that gaining weight too quickly might not be good for you. Before attempting any of the meals shown above, please consult a doctor and dietitian to show you how best to approach your weight goals.

Remember that a proper diet is not everything you need. Supplement your diet with some exercise to double your results.

Alexandra Danieli

Alexandra Danieli, CHC, The Conscious Gut
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